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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)
For the TAS episode with a similar title, please see "The Eye of the Beholder".

Counselor Troi's investigation into the suicide of a crewman suggests a murder was committed aboard the Enterprise while it was being built, and that the murderer is still aboard.

Summary Edit

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Teaser Edit

Riker and Worf race to the control room of the starboard nacelle tube when the plasma injectors won't shut down, threatening a loss of antimatter containment. When they arrive, they find Lieutenant Daniel Kwan on the catwalk about to jump into the plasma stream. Lieutenant Nara is at her station, unable to shut down the plasma flow and afraid to approach Kwan as she thinks he'll jump into the stream.

Worf goes to try to circumvent the override Kwan placed on the injectors while Riker slowly moves towards him and tries to talk him down from the catwalk. Kwan oddly remarks about people laughing at him, and that he does not want to do what he is about to. Worf gets control back, but there is still plasma. Riker tries to get him to explain, but Kwan replies by saying, "I know what I have to do." Kwan then jumps into the plasma stream. After Kwan's suicide the ship's crew is shocked.

Act One Edit

Captain Picard states that in his time as a commanding officer, he's had to notify families of Starfleet personnel deaths, but never a suicide. Riker and Troi both have had positive experiences with him; they don't understand a reason he would kill himself. Picard puts Worf and Counselor Troi in charge of an investigation, in order to explain Kwan's death to his family and "try to help them make sense of this." Picard gives them the right to look at Kwan's personal logs.

La Forge, in engineering, calls in to Picard on the damage. The USS Enterprise needs to get to Barson II, and they can exceed warp limitations to do so. La Forge cuts off the call and Data starts a conversation about suicide, wondering why any lifeform would do it. Hearing La Forge's guess that sometimes one's life is too hard to live, he relates to his own experiences in forming more and more complex pathways in his neural net. He considered simply shutting himself off to try again because it was becoming harder and harder to incorporate those pathways. He said he finally decided against it, considering it a challenge to overcome instead.

After seeing his personal logs, Troi and Worf see no evidence of hardship in his life. That morning, he mentioned recently completed work as well as looking forward to seeing Ensign Maddy Calloway, his girlfriend, more. Calloway says that Kwan was pretty much happy and easygoing. She also says that Kwan didn't seem like the kind of person that would take his own life. Worf and Troi have already agreed that Kwan didn't seem the type to commit suicide.

Troi decides that it is time to see nacelle control. She questions Nara, but she doesn't have any clues as to his state of mind. Troi examines his workstation, then climbs to the platform where he died. There she is overwhelmed by a strong empathic impression, almost going over the catwalk.

Act Two Edit

After being examined in sickbay by Doctor Crusher, she is told to wait a few hours before returning to the nacelle tube, as she is detecting elevated psilosynine levels in the counselor. It is hard to see how Troi got an impression from an empty room. She decides to go back with Worf later.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise has arrived at Starbase 328 and obtained the medical equipment they need to take to Barson II.

Worf goes to Troi in her quarters to continue the discussion. She doesn't find anything more from Kwan's logs, so they talk about the possibility that she felt something from nothing. She relates hearing her grandfather's stories to her telepathically as a child and, Worf, his visions. At the same time, Worf, from his experience in the alternate realities where he was married to Troi, begins to think about starting a relationship with her. He politely leaves Troi and goes to Ten Forward, where Riker is having a drink with Lieutenant Corell. Worf indirectly asks the first officer if it would be alright for him to date someone he had been close to. Riker says that it wouldn't be his choice. Then, Worf asks if there is anyone who Riker prefer he not date on the ship. Riker laughs and says that Worf is beginning to sound like he's asking him if he can date his (Riker's) sister. Worf realizes he's becoming suspicious with the hints and leaves quickly.

Marla E Finn

The empathic impression

Later, Troi returns to the nacelle tube with Worf. This time, she has visions. First, a woman pleading for her life, then, a man staring intently. She can tell it is in the cell where the plasma stream is held. Suddenly, she finds that Worf is gone, and she is alone. The plasma stream is not active, now. In fact, there are construction lights since the ship is inactive. On the ground, a box is labeled with "Utopia Planitia." She calls out to Worf.

Act Three Edit

Marla Finn and William Hodges

The man and woman

Troi gets down the ladder and back to the door. She then interrupts a man and a woman kissing, then laughing at her when they notice her. She turns around and bumps into Worf, as now the room is back to normal. After the vision, Worf and Troi call the senior staff to the observation lounge to discuss. It's clear that she was seeing some kind of scene eight years ago through someone's eyes. Crusher assumes that because Kwan was half-Napean that he may have gotten the same vision as Troi. Since the Napeans are also telepathic it is a possibility. Troi doesn't recognize the couple, but may recognize the man who stared at her. Crusher also tells Troi that she may be able to give her an inhibitor in order to manage the emotions she was feeling during the experience.

While waiting sixteen hours for the inhibitor to be synthesized by Dr. Crusher, Troi goes over the computer logs to see if anybody else aboard the Enterprise had worked with Kwan in at Utopia Planitia when nacelle control was under construction. In the logs she sees the man from her vision: Lieutenant Walter Pierce. Troi and Worf decide to question Pierce in engineering about if he remembers anything about Kwan or from during the building of the Enterprise. Pierce, however, doesn't tell Troi and Worf much of anything. Troi can't tell if Pierce is lying or what Pierce is really feeling, but thinks he is holding something back.

Worf escorts Troi to her quarters as she remarks about how she couldn't read him. When gathering more logs seems to take some time, Worf says that maybe they should start earlier the next morning. Worf then says good night, but doesn't leave. Worf takes Deanna's hand, touching her hand to his face, then sniffing her hand. Worf then embraces Troi in a kiss, a long kiss.

Act Four Edit

The next morning Worf is still in Troi's quarters, making breakfast. Crusher summons both of them to the sickbay, Troi for her inhibitor and Worf to supervise the transport of medical supplies to the cargo bay for Barson II. They walk in at different times, not revealing their relationship. However, Troi silently notices the way Worf acts toward Ensign Calloway as she leaves.

Galaxy class nacelle tube (interior)

The interior of the nacelle

Troi goes back to the control room with La Forge, Data and Lieutenant Nara. Troi notices a bulkhead that was previously open in her vision, and Nara mentions that Kwan was working there that morning. After La Forge removes it, he detects Human DNA. Troi gets another vision of the woman being attacked. La Forge's device reveals a skeleton. Back in sickbay, Ensign Calloway sequences the DNA sample and matches it to Starfleet records and finds Marla Finn. Troi confirms she was indeed the woman in her vision. Suspicious, she says that something doesn't match up and pulls up Lieutenant Kwan's record. She realizes that it could not have been Kwan's eyes she was seeing through as he wasn't posted to the Enterprise until about six months after Finn's death. It must have been either of the men in the vision. She realizes that it was Lieutenant Pierce's eyes she was seeing through when she sees her reflection in the computer panel. Troi finally understands that Pierce must somehow have telepathic abilities since she could not read his emotions before and because she also sees him in the visions.

Troi and Worf head to ask Pierce some questions. On the way, Troi asks him if is sorry for having been with her, thinking about his behavior toward Calloway. Worf says no, he doesn't and asks what's wrong. With the inhibitor, Troi admits she isn't feeling herself. Worf decides to question him alone and she goes to her quarters. However, shortly after she arrives, Pierce shows up unannounced.

Act Five Edit

Troi immediately calls for security, and security officers Kellogg and Garvey arrive. Confused, Pierce says that Worf told him to go to her. When she can't find Worf using the computer, Troi asks him where Worf is and Pierce says that he is with Ensign Calloway. Pierce is taken away while Troi goes and finds Worf and Ensign Calloway in a kissing embrace. The two start to laugh at her, just like in her earlier vision. She is outraged and responds by shooting Worf dead with a phaser. Distraught, she runs outside, running into Lieutenant Pierce on the way who tells her, "You know what you have to do." Compelled, she then runs to through the corridors to nacelle control.

Alone, she gets to the nacelle tubes, walks up to the catwalk and stares into the plasma saying, "I know what I have to do" just like Kwan had done. Just as she is about to jump into the plasma, Worf grabs her by the shoulder, whereupon it is revealed that her uniform has changed. The preceding events were a hallucination going back to when she had the initial vision in the spot where Kwan committed suicide.

The investigation ends with Troi telling Picard in the observation lounge that Kwan had been affected by some sort of telepathic leftover from Pierce's memories. It turns out that Pierce had found his girlfriend Marla Finn in an embrace with another man and killed them before throwing their bodies into the plasma stream to cover up any hint of murder, and then jumped in himself. The reason the account had seemed to be sent telepathically is because Pierce's maternal grandmother had been a Betazoid. Worf asks Troi why she seemed surprised to see him alive when he pulled her from her hallucination. Troi replies that in her version of the vision, Worf was killed. Worf asks her who had killed him, and Troi replies, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

Memorable quotes Edit

"Counselor. When I pulled you from the plasma stream you seemed... surprised I was alive."
"Well, actually... in my hallucination, you were killed."
"May I ask by whom?"
"Well, you know what they say, Mr. Worf. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.""

- Worf and Troi


"They laughed at me!"

- Daniel Kwan, shortly before committing suicide


"I know what I have to do..."

- Daniel Kwan's last words before vaporizing himself


"In my years as a Starfleet captain, I've had to... notify many parents of the loss of loved ones but never before to suicide."

- Picard


"Geordi, would you agree that the instinct for self-preservation is shared by most lifeforms?"
"I'd say it's probably the most basic instinct, Data."
"Hmm. That being the case, I find it difficult to understand why someone would deliberately terminate their own existence."

- Data discusses his lack of understanding about suicide to La Forge


"Is there someone in particular that you're talking about?"
"No. Is there someone in particular you would rather I not be involved with?"
"Mr. Worf, you sound like a man who's asking his friend if he can start dating his sister!"
"No! No, I was merely... never mind. Excuse me, sir."

- Riker and Worf

Background information Edit

Arlene Fukai, stand-in

Arlene Fukai (left) and Nora Leonhardt (right)

Cliff Bole and Michael Dorn

Director Cliff Bole and Michael Dorn on set

Story and production Edit

  • Because regular Marina Sirtis stand-in Nora Leonhardt was busy, filming her scenes as Marla Finn on Paramount stage 8, Second Assistant Director Arlene Fukai got a wig from the hair department and replaced her for the light settings on stage 9, standing in for Marina Sirtis.
  • First UK airdate: 8 May 1996

Continuity Edit

  • This episode continues the romance between Troi and Worf, albeit in illusory form since much of the episode takes place in Troi's imagination.
  • According to the Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, imaginary scenarios are usually shown only from the character's point of view. This episode breaks that convention by showing Dr. Crusher speaking in sickbay as she pages both Troi and Worf on the morning after they begin their affair.
  • In Nacelle Control, after Troi was injected with the empathic inhibitor, the prop Commander La Forge uses is identical to the interphasic scanner seen in "Phantasms".
  • While Troi and Worf are discussing Troi's grandfather, Worf states, "Yes, I too have sought visions in fire." This statement alludes to "Rightful Heir", in which Worf travels to a temple on Boreth in an attempt to see a vision of Kahless.

Apocrypha Edit

  • The events surrounding the three past deaths are mentioned in the The Sky's the Limit short story "Meet with Triumph and Disaster". Captain Thomas Halloway debriefs a visiting group of admirals prior to the Enterprise's launch (consisting of Norah Satie, Theodorich Patterson, and Svaath Magodin (β)) on what he knew of the incident (that they disappeared due to a plasma accident and were presumed dead). It is one of his reasons for feeling uncertain about command.

Video and DVD releases Edit

Links and references Edit

Starring Edit

Also starring Edit

Guest stars Edit

Co-stars Edit

Uncredited co-stars Edit

Stunt doubles Edit

Stand-ins Edit

References Edit

2363; 2368; 2369; affair; Barson II; bluff; bone; bulkhead; cargo bay; crew evaluation; empath; engineering log; field coil; field generator; fireplace; Galaxy-class; hallucination; hull plate; inhibitor; instinct; inter-species reproduction; Jefferies tube; nacelle; nacelle tube; nacelle room; Napean; neural net; neural pathway; neurotransmitter; nightstand; ODN line; personal log; phaser; plasma; plasma injector; plasma stream; poker; power conduit; psilosynine; quantum mechanics; refit; resonance scan; security override code; shore leave; Starbase 328; subspace energy; suicide; Til'amin froth; tool crate; Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards; warp coil; warp drive; warp field stabilizer; Yridian tea

Okudagram referencesEdit

assistant parts scheduler; Earth; Mars; San Francisco; serial number; Sol system; specialist; Starfleet Academy; team leader; warp engine local control system; warp field engineering

Retconned material Edit

Clavyn, USS

External linksEdit


Previous episode:
"Masks"
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Season 7
Next episode:
"Genesis"

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